Americans Feeling More Stress In 2020 Election Than In 2016

Nov 2, 2020, 7:06 PM | Updated: 8:55 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A poll by the American Psychological Association found that two-thirds of U.S. adults said the presidential election is stressing them out this year, compared to just over half of adults in 2016.

The past year and the upcoming uncertainty of the next few weeks can be pushing on stress points for many people.

Here are some tips for dealing with this stress.

“We’re not innately designed to handle this, this chronic stress,” said Travis Mickelson, the medical director of mental health integration at Intermountain Healthcare.

Mickelson said the stress of uncertainty this election season triggers a fight or flight response in our bodies – causing increased blood pressure, stomach issues, tense muscles, and increasing our risk for long-term chronic health issues, like diabetes and heart disease.

“It’s a big – the big time, and stressful for all of us,” said Meikel Reece, a community advocate specifically working on anti-racism.

Reece said she has felt the stress of the election this year, as and has seen it in her community.

“Really, what 2020 has done, has taken away all the illusions that we have built up to remain comfortable,” she said.

KSL TV posted a question on social about how the stress has impacted Utahns. The responses ran the gambit.

Aside from worries about COVID-19, people have been thinking about possible unrest after the election, no matter the winner. Others said their anxiety was from wondering if affordable healthcare will be limited or had concerns that their same-sex marriage would be overturned.

Dr. Mickelson suggested practicing mindfulness to help our bodies cope. It will help, but in many cases, it won’t solve the stress outright.

“When someone says you should practice mindfulness, that’s going to solve all of your problems. That’s not true,” he said. “That might be invalidating… if I’m really worried about the fact that I don’t have money to pay for rent.”

Mindfulness isn’t about fixing our problems, he said. It’s about helping you cope.

“That could help me be more resilient so that I can be stronger and be better able to adapt to this current stressful situation that I’m in,” he said.

Both he and Reece recommended taking a moment every day to recognize the positive things in our lives – the things that are going well – and staying in the present moment.

“Taking a second to even, like, put your hand on your heart and just be like, I’m here, and I’m going to be okay,” Reece said.

You can follow Reece on her Instagram page @mixedwomxn. She’ll have tips on how to get through Election Day.

For more resources, you can call the Intermountain Healthcare Emotional Health Relief Hotline at 833-442-2211. It’s free and help is available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Election 2020

In this Jan. 7, 2021, image taken from Coffee County, Ga., security video, Cathy Latham (right) app...
KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press

Video shows ‘unauthorized access’ to Ga. election equipment

A court filing says a Republican Party official in Georgia told a computer forensics team to copy components of the voting system at a rural elections office two months after the 2020 election and spent nearly all day there, contradicting her deposition testimony.
2 months ago
Brady Knowlton (left), Gary Wilson (right) at the January 6 Riot. (United States District Court)...
Michael Houck

Two Utahns face additional charges for stealing an ‘escape hood’ during Jan. 6 Capitol riot

New court documents allege that two Utah men stole an "escape hood" while illegally entering the US Capitol on January 6. 
3 months ago
Voters cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madis...

GOP seeking power over elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota

Wisconsin's secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to flip the seat this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities.
4 months ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chair of the House Select Committee to ...
ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

Witness tampering at Jan. 6 hearing? Cheney raises prospect

In a Jan. 6 committee hearing already sprinkled with notable moments, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday that the panel had learned that former President Donald Trump had recently tried to contact a witness whom "you have not yet seen in these hearings."
5 months ago
An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overtu...
Sara Murray and Jason Morris, CNN

Graham, Giuliani, Eastman and other Trump advisers subpoenaed in Georgia election probe

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
5 months ago
Voters cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madis...

Screams, threats as New Mexico counties try to certify vote

Deep-seated conspiracy theories about the security of voting machines erupted into heated, angry and at times threatening outbursts as New Mexico counties were deciding whether to certify results from their recent primary.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Americans Feeling More Stress In 2020 Election Than In 2016